Hoofddorp Fort Island
by Serge Schoemaker

The process of redeveloping and converting Hoofddorp Fort took a decade, and the world heritage site will open to the public in summer 2020 in a step-by-step manner.

Hoofddorp Fort is one of the few forts along the Defence Line of Amsterdam with two floors.

Despite its central location, the island was never accessible to the public. For a long time the building functioned as a munitions depot. In 1996 the provincial heritage site was added to the World Heritage List.

Serge Schoemaker Architects were in charge of the landscape, architecture and interior in an integral manner, transforming it into an urban park with space for a restaurant as well as cultural and educational activities.

In 2015 Femme Hammer and Serge Schoemaker established the Hoofddorp Fort Foundation, which facilitated the funding and development of the island fort.

The complex includes two freestanding structures topped by domes that could be raised. Connected to the main building by underground corridors, these structures were fully excavated during the renovation.

The process of redeveloping and converting Hoofddorp Fort took a decade.

The network of corridors were also restored to its original condition.

This allows visitors to use the long rear corridor on the ground floor to reach the freestanding dome-topped structures on the mound of earth that covers the fort.

Two new staircases have been added to improve access to the fort. Breaking open the floors created two vertical double-height spaces that draw light and air deep into the horizontal corridors that dominate the fort’s interior.

The fort has been partly restored and partly left untouched. Serge Schoemaker designed sleek new additions and integrated them carefully, consciously preserving the historical details and their distinctive atmosphere.

The approach sets up a lively dialogue between past and present, with both entities enhancing each other.

Warm timber walls and minimalist steel elements combine with rough untreated walls of unreinforced concrete, and modern light fittings are set off by atmospheric illuminated candle niches.

The material and colour concept connects the historical and contemporary elements, allowing them to co-exist in a dignified manner.

Visitors can soon walk up from the forecourt to the outdoor area on higher ground and enjoy views of the moat and the Geniedijk. Space has also been allocated here for a small open-air theatre and a stylish terrace garden.

Author Serge Schoemaker Architects
Team Serge Schoemaker, Sanne Knoll, Alexander Beeloo,
Max Hart Nibbrig | Arun Bourdon, Maiara Camilotti, Farimah
Chaman Zadeh, Anthony Dann, Yunqiao Du, Dik Houben,
Niklas Kühlenborg, Roxana Vakil Mozafari
Location Hoofddorp, The Netherlands
Client Hoofddorp Fort Foundation
Collaborators Erik Vianen (Structural Engineer), Ton Kromwijk
(Installation advisor), de Bonth van Hulten (Main contractor)
Year 2020
Photography MWA Hart Nibbrig

Hoofddorp Garden Studio Luchtpark Azatlyk Square Schieblock and Luchtsingel SWEETS Vestre Fjordpark Municipal Stadium Shelter

a project powered by Itinerant Office

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